Friday, February 27, 2009

Dieting with a daughter watching your every move.

It's been a madhouse around here, with tomorrow being the culmination of months of work for two different activities. If I build one more thing with a group of ten year old boys, I might scream. But. Other things.

My daughter. My seven year old daughter has had body image issues since I can remember. When she was getting ready for bath when she was about five, she would suck in her gut as much as she could, all her ribs showing, and her belly button practically touching her spine and ask me, "Mommy, what would you think if I looked like this?" Inwardly, I would cry, but I would always tell her that she didn't look healthy to me like that, that I liked to see more muscles and a strong body so that she could do anything she wanted.

And still, every time the school talks about health, there is my daughter counting calories and getting on the scale. One day, she got on the scale. Got off, ran in place for ten seconds, then got back on. One pound less. So she did it again, hoping for more. Again and again. It only worked the first time. She was disappointed. We discussed.

So all these year, I've been terrified to go on a diet, that I'm just sure that my daughter's body image issues will only get worse. I'd go on diets and act like I wasn't on one, but decided that secret dieting was probably worse.

So this most recent time, right now, I've decided that I'm not going to hide and pretend that I'm not dieting, but that I'll phrase it differently. Mom is getting stronger and healthier. And hoping that my daughter will see her mom losing all her squishy places and growing muscles. So yes, I'm counting calories, I'm watching what I eat. But when my daughter wanted to share her chocolates, I graciously accepted but quietly counted those calories, too. I want so badly for her to watch her mom do this body image thing right.

And so we celebrated when Mom ran a mile tonight. All of us. Because the oldest one needed to hear too, that here's something that Mom has NEVER been good at, but I've been practicing a lot and have been really working hard at it and is proud of her accomplishment. And the middle one needed to hear that her mom is getting strong, and will race her. And beat her. And they'll all watch their mom beat their aunt at a push-ups contest. That she doesn't know she's going to be in. (that's my strategy to win - not tell her to practice. See? Brilliance.)

1 comment:

ca sister said...

Wellllll, all righty now. You've got me in quite a pickle. I WANT YOUR KIDS TO BE PROUD OF YOU!! Because YOU ARE A HERO! But, I really hate to lose. Sigh. I guess we'll have to decide that win or lose, anyone who can do 20 push-ups is a SUPERSTAR!

And, congratulations on your mile!